Associations Set Sights on IBTM World

Shane Hannam, Portfolio Director,  IBTM Events, explains to Boardroom why associations should attend IBTM World in Barcelona this year.

Tell us what associations can expect at IBTM World?

As always, associations can expect an event full of opportunities to learn about and be inspired by new technology and services, to meet and do business with valuable new connections and to enhance their knowledge and insights through our Knowledge Programme.

New for this year is an Exploratory Zone located at the heart of the event that will offer a lively and interactive experience for attendees as exhibitors display the latest technologies and event solutions including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, facial recognition and 3D printing. From a synchronised robot dance routine, 3D chocolate model of the IBTM World logo and an immersive projection mapping culinary experience to a demonstration of combat and virtual reality in team building, the Exploratory Zone will offer new ideas for enhancing customer experience.

For this year’s Knowledge Programme, IBTM has partnered with AAE (Association of Association Executives) to develop focused sessions for association attendees, drawing on customer feedback on key challenges facing association event organisers.

As a result, the full tailored programme for associations is comprised of eight sessions delivering insights and knowledge on several subjects of interest, including successful ways to raise sponsorship, designing valuable event programmes, building audience engagement and managing sponsored content for greater revenue, among others. Speakers include Mike Treacher, Managing Director Events & Media, TM Forum; Damian Hutt, Executive Director, Association of Association Executives; and William Thomson, Managing Director, Gallus Events.

Anything new in the Knowledge Programme that associations can relate to?

This year’s Knowledge Programme has been extended to include three keynote speakers from outside the industry who lead a schedule of 55 sessions designed to enhance events expertise and keep attendees on the cutting-edge of industry trends.

The first keynote, Duncan Wardle, one of the primary creative forces behind The Walt Disney Company, will lead the ‘innovation, technology and creativity stream’ of the Knowledge Programme with his session titled ‘Think Different’, which will explore how leveraging creative thinking can generate far reaching and unexpected business results.

The second keynote speaker, Dex Torricke-Barton, former Head of Communications at SpaceX, Executive Communications Manager at Facebook and Executive at Google, will present on the emergence of macro societal trends and the development of technologies such as virtual reality and live-streaming, to forecast how they could affect the meetings and events industry.

The third keynote, multi-award-winning millennial tech entrepreneur Charlotte Pearce will draw on her background as CEO and founder of innovative technology platform, Inkpact, during her session entitled ‘Humans of business; why connection matters’, as she will explore methods in which businesses can connect to their customers in more thoughtful and personal ways.

Altogether the schedule covers eight topical content themes, falling under the following streams: industry trends; engagement and experiences; safety and security; sustainability and CSR; professional development, recruitment and wellbeing; business development and strategy; and marketing and digital.

What do you hope associations will benefit from when they come to Barcelona?

As well as having the opportunity to meet, connect and do business with potential suppliers and network with peers, association meetings planners can benefit from IBTM’s Hosted Buyer programme, engaging networking events and our Knowledge Programme will leave attendees inspired and motivated to create their own cutting-edge events.

IBTM World will take place at Fira Gran via Barcelona from 27 – 29 November 2018. For more information on IBTM World 2018 visit

Similar Articles